Digital Technologies Curriculum
Matthew Flinders

Level 7 - Level 8

Creating Digital Solutions

Content Description

  • Define and decompose real-world problems taking into account functional requirements and sustainability (economic, environmental, social), technical and usability constraints.
  • Design the user experience of a digital system, generating, evaluating and communicating alternative designs.
  • Design algorithms represented diagrammatically and in English, and trace algorithms to predict output for a given input and to identify errors.
  • Develop and modify programs with user interfaces involving branching, iteration and functions using a general-purpose programming language.
  • Evaluate how well student-developed solutions and existing information systems meet needs, are innovative and take account of future risks and sustainability.

Lesson Ideas

Online Resources

CS Unplugged
  • 15 Lesson Plans for Making Students Better Online Researchers: the internet is one of the first places that students turn to when asked to conduct research, however it is important that they know how to navigate it correctly and quality assure what they are using. These lesson plans will help students develop skills to be better online researchers. Global Digital Citizen Foundation
  • Phylogenetics: Bioinformatics is a discipline that combines computer science and biology. It uses the algorithm, technology and statistics to solve problems for biology. In this activity, students participate in the process of reconstructing a phylogenetic tree and explore several core concepts making connections in biology or maths. CS Unplugged
  • Line Drawing: computers draw lines and circles during common tasks, but how does it know which pixels to darken to create the line? This activity shows how an algorithm could be used to do it quickly. Joshua Scott
  • Cryptographic Protocols: this activity explores Boolean logic, functions and problem solving. CS Unplugged
  • What is a program?, Understanding programming commands, Applications of programmable systems, The future of programmable systems: use this sequence of lessons to support students to build an understanding of programming and different systems available. The Institution of Engineering and Technology

Units of Work

Online Resources

Mildura West Student
  • Computer Science in Algebra: has partnered with Bootstrap to develop a curriculum with explores algebraic concepts through programming. The 20 lessons focus on concepts like order of operations, the Cartesian plane, function composition and definition and solving problems within the context of creating a game. By the end of the course students have written programs to build a video game of their own design, which show a mastery of programming and algebra. and Bootstrap
  • Introduction to Computer Modelling and Simulation: this introductory module presents basic concepts in modelling complex systems through hands-on activities and participatory simulations. A series of design and build activities guide students through developing their first computer model in StarLogo Nova. and Project GUTS
  • I Love My SmartPhone mobile app development: explore the lesson plan teacher workbook and the student workbook, as well as the Royal Society of Edinburgh YouTube channel. The Royal Society of Edinburgh
  • Programming: students learn the fundamentals of programming constructs of JavaScript by solving problems with 'turtle graphics'. Then move on to programming simple event driven apps.
  • Use the document 'A Teacher's Guide to the Intel Galileo' or the 'Getting Started with the Gove Starter Kit for the Intel Galileo' to get students working on the Intel Galileo programming board. Intel


Online Resources

  • Computer science in a box - unplug your curriculum: this resource booklet was produced to be used for students ages 9-14 to teach lesson about how computers work, while addressing critical maths and science concepts such as number systems, algorithms and manipulating variables and logic. National Centre for Women and IT
  • A Beginner's Guide to Programming Languages: on this website you will find a high-level overview of some of the more commonly-used programming languages. IT Hare

Apps and Software

  • Code Combat (free, web): the game like platform with the premise that they are stuck in a dungeon surrounded by enemies or racing across a battlefield to conquer a foe. This application puts players in control of their character through programming, using texted based Java script. A monthly subscription provides access to video tutorials and extra practice levels, otherwise the program is free. Teachers can monitor their class by creating a clan for their class and inviting students to learn.
  • Grok Learning (free introduction to programming, paid subscriptions, web): introductory courses using the programming language Python for people with no programming experience. Home of the National Secondary Schools Computer Challenge. Anonymous accounts disappear after 24 hours, so students will need to sign in to save their program.
  • Alice (free, web): 3D programming environment which enables students to create an animation for telling a story, playing and interactive game, or a video to share on the web. Alice teaches visually and is more entertainment oriented. It can provide students first exposure to object –oriented programming. Find teaching support materials on the website including step by step of how to get started. Free download of the software.
  • Girl with Croc Clips
  • AutoHotkey (free, requires download): simple shortkey programming for students.
  • Code Avengers (free for teachers, students get level 1 courses free, web): online courses to teach students how to code their own apps, games and websites, using JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. Teachers can easily identify students that need support due to live updates of each student’s progress.
  • Crunchzilla (free, web): this online platform supports students to learn about text programming. Different options for different abilities. Code Monster is an easier version of Code Maven that offers a simple interactive tutorial and develops an understand of text programming language.
  • GameStar Mechanic (first game design quest free, additional cost for further access, computer web based): GameStar Mechanic teaches kids, ages 7-14, to design their own video games. Students complete different self-paced quests while learning to build game levels. The site integrates critical thinking and problem-solving tasks. An app embedded within Edmodo makes logins easy for students. Use the teachers' guide to support or download the getting started teacher pack and direct students to the learning guide.
  • Hakitzu (free, iOS, Android apps): learning through games. Giant robots and JavaScript are your weapons of choice as you program your way to victory in this strategic combat game. No previous coding knowledge is required to crack the code as the game guides you from a beginner, to coder, to hacker.
  • Looking Glass (free, computer software, Windows, Mac and Linux): animated story–offshoot of Alice, a programming environment for ages 10 and above. Create and share animated stories, simple games and even virtual pets. For further support, see: Looking Glass FAQs.
  • Notepad (free, Windows computer): use these simple instructions to support students to create coding using the Windows Notepad.
  • Python (free, computer software Windows, Mac and other): Python is a programming language which can be used for first time or experienced programmers. There are lots of educational books to support you and your class to get started or use the helpful getting started guides on the website. For further information, explore the FUSE package.
  • Ruby (free, Computer software, Windows, Mac, Linux): Ruby is a dynamic, open source programming language. Explore the many documents and tutorials designed to support teachers and students to learn Ruby. Alternatively, participate in the 9 hour CodeAcademy Ruby online course.
  • Robotics: using NXT and LEGO Mindstorms.
  • Snap! (free, web): Snap is a visual, drag-and-drop programming language. It is an extended reimplementation of Scratch that allows you to Build Your Own Blocks. Use this teacher resource and student workbook to support students to use Snap!
  • Tinkercad: 3D modelling–fee–perfect for 3D printing.
  • Aitken Creek Computers
  • Windows property menu shortkey: create a shortkey for any Windows tool through properties.
  • Wolfram Alpha widgets (paid, software): design and create widgets to use in the program.
  • Code Academy (free, web, login required): an education platform to support students to learn programming and creating digital solutions. It is a good first step for those looking to begin more complex programming. Code Academy supports walks students through the steps of building a website, creating a website project or interactive or learning programming languages such as HTML and Python. Achievable goals such as animating your name or creating a basic website about you.
  • Touch Develop: Touch Develop is an app creator created by Microsoft. The apps created will work on iOS, Android, Windows, Mac or Linux. Start with a tutorial at beginner level or get started with creating scrip. Download the Creative Coding Through Games and Apps course: an introductory computer programming course for early secondary grades.
  • App Inventor (free, web): an online app developer created by MIT university. The platform is designed to support students with creating their own android apps. Teacher resources including concept cards, familiarising students with the basic concepts and a 6 week online course. For further teacher resources, see: Resources.
  • Computer Science in School: has teamed up with Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically) to deliver middle school science program consisting of 4 modules for the introduction of computer science and science. The modules of work at planned out in detail and could be mapped to the Victorian Curriculum. The units of work use online software called StarLogo NOVA. Teachers could create generic student logins i.e. student one, student two, or inform parents that they will be signing up. An online teacher course is also available.
  • The Institute of Engineering and Technology: This website provides many STEM based teaching and learning resources. For example Filer Communications and the age group that you are working with to find resources and challenges of how to teach students about networks and communication systems.
  • Computer Science in Algebra: has teamed up with Bootstrap to develop a curriculum that teachers algebraic and geometric concepts through computer programming. The twenty lessons focus on concepts like order of operations, the Cartesian plane, function composition and definition, and solving word problems, within the context of video game design. Full lesson plans for teachers to follow, student workbook and self-paces online course for students to complete. Students will need to login to complete the course, however teachers could create generic student logins to protect student identity. Extension: Students use Scratch to design their game with their understanding of coordinates and programming.
  • Bootstrap (free, web): computing creatively and connecting mathematics. With the aim of exciting students about gaming while directly applying algebra to create something. Two main programs of learning with clear curriculum links and lesson plans for teachers. Aimed at students aged 12-16.
  • Mozilla Thimble (web, free): students will need to create personal login to use this website. Mozilla Thimble enables students to remix webpage projects and complete their own. Students experience learning to write their own webpages with side-by-side windows that instantly show the effects of their changes in coding. Authentic programming experience using text code.
  • CS Field Guide
  • CS Field Guide (free, web): this open sourced online textbook resource has been developed by Tim Bell from The University of Canterbury, NZ. It is currently mapped to the New Zealand Computer Science curriculum. There are two versions of the online textbook, the student versions and the teacher version. Teachers need to access Google groups to stay up to date with the additions and revisions and to access the most up to date link to the teacher version. Useful sections such as 'network protocols', 'data representation', and 'algorithms'.

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